Providence Basketball: Roster Overhaul Continues as Friars Lose Bryce Cotton

Jimmy KelleyCorrespondent IApril 11, 2012

Bryce Cotton's 14.3 points per game was good for second on the Friars in 2012.
Bryce Cotton's 14.3 points per game was good for second on the Friars in 2012.Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Providence College has been one of the most active teams in college basketball this year in terms of player movement. In addition to a star studded recruiting class and some possible high-profile transfers, the Friars have seen several experienced players look elsewhere to finish off their careers.

Last week, Gerard Coleman announced he would be transferring due to concerns about his role on the team with the incoming recruiting class. Coleman's announcement was accompanied by news that sophomore Ron Giplaye and junior Bilal Dixon have been given their releases as well.

Perhaps the most damaging loss came yesterday when sophomore Bryce Cotton sought his release from the program. Cotton was the team's second leading scorer is 2012, averaging 14.3 points per game while shooting 37.9 percent from three-point range.

Providence coach Ed Cooley told the Providence Journal that Cotton's request for a release was "all speculation," but, headed by Cotton's mentor Chad Groth, confirmed that Cotton had indeed received his release.

Cotton, Coleman, Dixon and Giplaye were all holdovers from the Keno Davis era and, as with any coaching change, their departures are not entirely surprising. Cotton and Coleman, both shooting guards, must have seen the writing on the wall with the incoming class of guard talent.

Local product, and five-star recruit, Ricardo Ledo will likely be the starter next season which would have pushed both players to the bench. Kris Dunn, Josh Fortune and Ian Baker all play the guard position and would likely take precedent over any current players.

Providence has also entertained a few possible transfers that would address the interior positions in Wake Forest center Carson Desrosiers and Michigan forward Evan Smotrycz. It is clear that Cooley has his heart set on turning Providence into a national power and has taken all the right steps to do so.